In a July 26, 1920 article in the Baltimore Evening Sun, Mencken wrote about the difficulties of good men reaching national office when such campaigns must necessarily be conducted remotely:
The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.
The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men.
As democracy is perfected, the office represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
Check out the video to learn how Wally Wallington of Flint Michigan has figured out how to move enormous weights with no pulleys, hoists, or massive manpower... just the laws of physics. Very interesting!
More than 60 years ago, diminutive Latvian eccentric Edward Leedskalnin built his "Coral Castle" as a tribute to his obsessive and unrequited love. This Florida curiosity was built by him alone, at night, and using huge stones, but he never revealed his methods. Many attributed his powers to the supernatural or even alien technology, but once again Occam's Razor shows that the simplest explanation is usually correct.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau The original classic first published in 1854 never gets old. Life in the woods, as experienced by Thoreau's 2 years there, or, in my case, 30 years by the sea, quiets the mind. A must read. (8/25/2007)
Walden Two by BF Skinner A description of Utopia as envisioned by the behaviorist author first published in 1945. (8/1/2007)
This awesome book, with the aid of the history of stupidity of crowds, proves we are all lemmings.
If you had read this book when it was published in 1841, you wouldn't have been hornswoggled in the Internet bubble. A most excellent read, and one of my all-time favorites.
Where Are The Customers' Yachts? by Fred Schwed Jr. Subtitle: A Good Hard Look at Wall Street. Humorous, but serious review of the investment business. Written just prior to WWII, with lessons learned from the Crash of '29 and the Great Depression, this book is a great read for anyone trying to deal with the issues facing investors today. Not much has changed. A true classic. (4/14/2007)
The EnerQi Connection: Demystifying Acupuncture by Sheri Laine and Tiffany Strause Qi ("chee") is the energetic vibrating force field in each of us. Good friend Sheri Laine, a licensed acupuncturist, explains this concept in detail and takes you through a typical session of acupuncture and offers several case studies of success with this ancient healing/balancing technique. (3/17/2007)
iCon: Steve Jobs The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jefrey S. Young & William L. Simon Excellent! Show Jobs' significant human and business flaws as well as his extraordinary talents and good fortune. I am not an Apple fan, but I am also not a detractor, so this book seemed to be a well balanced presentation of the prime mover of the Apple experience. (3/12/2007)
On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt Highly philosophical treatise on the subject. Sometimes witty. (3/1/2007)
This is the story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan -- incredibly depressing reading of the true story of the tens of thousands of orphans whose parents were killed during the continuing genocide in the Sudan, and how these children escaped by walking through deserts and war zones experiencing the worst of tragedies including starvation, exposure, disease, physical abuse, slavery, and attacks by wild animals, to reach refuge camps in neighboring countries, only to subsist in continuing horrible conditions for 14 years until, miraculously, a precious few were rescued through the kindness of strangers, and were brought to a new life in the USA. This story was written by 3 boys who came to San Diego. After reading this fantastic story, you will be amazed at the indomitable human spirit, and the will to survive, powerful reading... (11/21/2006)
My first walk on the beach in 10 days (nasty influenza bug has kept me cave-bound) shows the first signs of Spring. And the beach itself has been refreshed with new clean brown-sugar sand. All is, again, right with the world.